Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Healing's War Grave - John Bates

The Second World War seemed to affect just about everyone everywhere, and Healing is no exception. Many of the brave men and women who answered their country's call never returned home, and this man is one of them.
In the peace and tranquility of Healing churchyard, there is a reminder of the time our country was at war. A war grave, that of John Bates. It is a simple white headstone, recording only the name, service number and date of death.
"1165087 Corporal
J Bates
Royal Air Force
11th March 1945"

John Bates was in the RAF Volunteer Reserve. His age, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, is 'unknown'. But, there is a mystery. Healing cenotaph does not record J Bates as one of the fallen men of Healing. So, why was he buried in Healing churchyard? He can't have crashed nearby - there are no records for crash sites near Healing. 

For those wishing to pay their respects to this man, he is buried in row 2, grave 18 in Healing churchyard.

I found this whilst researching Cpl Bates:

"Cpl John Bates (RAF), 324 Hainton Avenue, died"

Could this be the John Bates we are looking for? I assume so; the website was all about Grimsby's fallen servicemen and women. 

Looking at the website, most of the deaths seem to mention 'killed' or 'killed in action', rather than 'died'. Could we then assume that he died of natural causes than being killed in action?

As well as that, I have found the death register for him (Jan, Feb, Mar 1945). He was 33 when he died:

Lest We Forget,


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